Two verses. One powerful message.
In her new book, God Is Able, Priscilla Shirer breaks down Ephesians 3:20-21, familiar words from the apostle Paul, in a fresh and encouraging way. (Disclaimer: I received a free copy of the book in exchange for my review.)
Here are the words on which she bases the book:
Now to Him who is able to do exceeding abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us, to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever. Amen.
I will confess: this book made me nervous at first. I wondered if she was going to promise that God would answer every prayer if we just had enough faith to believe, or something along those lines. And I wondered if she had any hard places from which to draw her experience. It’s easy to place a Bible teacher, speaker or author on a pedestal of ease, thinking they’ve never had to deal with hardship.
I’m glad to say I was wrong on both accounts.
Shirer makes it clear from the beginning that she has experience with seemingly impossible situations. She lists some of them. And that she’s not promising results. She writes:
Just because God can doesn’t mean He will.
But just because He hasn’t doesn’t mean He won’t.
The bottom line is that He is able. (p. 13)
And it’s that theme, the title of the book, that carries through the book. Each chapter focuses on a word or a phrase from the verse in Ephesians, and I appreciated the chance to dig in to a set of verses that I sometimes gloss over.
Shirer is realistic and encouraging. She exudes hope, which is hard to handle sometimes when you’re in the midst of hopelessness, but doesn’t deny that life doesn’t always work out the way we want it to.
Whether or not God CHOOSES to do something is a question of His sovereignty, not His ability. Whether or not He WILL do it is His business. But believing that He CAN–that’s our business. (p. 62)
A tough assignment, especially for those of us with a tendency to want to fix and do something about our problems.
Shirer writes with boldness, humor and honesty. I appreciate her authenticity, and the book was so encouraging I wish I’d had a copy a year ago when life seemed impossible.
Are you in the same boat? Because I’ve got a copy to give away. Leave a comment on this blog post. You can share about your impossible situation or simply tell me that you need this book. I’ll pick a winner on Sunday night, November 24.